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London Camden Monarch

These are anthems in waiting, willing soundtracks to heartbreak everywhere.

Don't mind us. London gigs by the Bury five-piece might be rare, but Elbow, looking like they've stumbled off a long-haul flight, still don't feel compelled to make a special effort. Lead singer Guy Garvey's crumpled shirt has the sleeves shoved up, while his hair is the wrong side of dishevelled. To his left, guitarist Mark Potter has an old woolly hat pulled on to disguise such sins which somehow only makes things worse.



But one song in and that hardly matters. Elbow write elegant wisps of songs that can be compared to Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith, even Radiohead at times. Knowing this, they soon stop even pretending to compete with their music.



Mark pulls up a stool and slumps down while Guy closes his eyes and jams a finger in his ear. If they didn't sound so beautiful, it would be unforgivable. But by 'New Born' - the gorgeous lead track on the band's current EP - the hushed melodies have taken over, backed solemnly by the mournful drone of a church organ and the swirl of an acoustic guitar. Over it all, Guy's voice is entrancing, huskily searching for high notes just within his reach as 'New Born' gradually gathers momentum and, teasing, cranks up the volume.



These are anthems in waiting, willing soundtracks to heartbreak everywhere. And whatever that brings, you know Elbow will take it all casually in their stride.

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